Tag Archives: protein

Vegan “Egg” Scramble

It looks like egg…it tastes BETTER than egg! And it’s vegan! I have a beautiful vegan friend who inspired me to read more about veganism and animal rights and really opened my eyes to all of the issues involved. While I haven’t yet made the leap to veganism, I am trying my best to make more vegan choices and experiment with vegan alternatives to my favorite foods! And one of those foods is eggs! I live in DC, and love going out to brunch or making brunch on the weekends. This recipe is SO delicious, and packed with veggies. Super simple to make too! The eggs are made from crumbled tofu and the yellow color comes from turmeric and paprika.


Health Stuff: Turmeric is an extremely healthy indian spice that has tons of medicinal properties. Curcumin, the main active ingredient and it is an anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant properties too.

You will need: dsc_68671.jpg

  • Veggies: I chopped a quarter of each veggie -onion, red pepper, green pepper. A small piece of zucchini and squash and 2-3 mushrooms sliced.
  • 1/2 a block of tofu. Avoid extra firm or super firm. The softer tofu’s give it a more egg-like consistency
  • garlic (or garlic powder), paprika, turmeric
  • salt and pepper
  • cilantro  and soy cheese (optional) to garnish
  • Optional: you can grate in some ginger to make it a bit spicy


To Prepare:

  1. Crumble the tofu. Using a fork break the tofu up into little crumbles DSC_9408
  2. Chop the veggies finely. I used the ones I had on hand, cut a small amount of them  and saved the rest for later.
  3. Heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add in the onions and let them saute for a minute
  4. Add in the peppers and saute for another 2 minutes
  5. Add in the tofu, and stir it in well.
  6. Season with salt, add 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp  paprika. Add garlic powder if you didn’t add fresh garlic. This is the point where you can choose to grate a little ginger in. But this step is optional. I usually avoid it for a more classic taste.
  7. Add in the squash and mushrooms and let it cook for a couple minutes until tender, stirring constantly.
  8. If you feel the tofu has dried out too much, unlike actual eggs, you can add in a few tbsps of water and let it simmer out a bit to get the right consistency.
  9. Sprinkle in a little soy cheese. I buy mine at Trader Joes and it’s great! Stir it in and garnish with cilantro and serve!

Prep time: 15  Cook time: 10




Middle Eastern Spiced Rice and Lebanese Mousaka (Maghmour)

I love middle eastern food. Plain and simple. The flavors go so far beyond just hummus and pita. When I was younger and we lived in South America , we would frequent the Syrian, Lebanese and Armenian restaurants a lot because of their vast selection of vegetarian dishes. Hummus, babaganoush, tabouleh, fattoush salad and one of my favorites, lebanese mousakka. Mmmmm my mouth is watering! This dish is called Maghmour I believe in Arabic, and bares very little resemblance to its Greek counterpart (A layered caserole dish with meat and potatoes.) It is a savory, tangy, and sometimes spicy blend of tomatoes, spices, eggplant and chickpeas. I’ve seen it served both room-temperature and warm. I ate this dish warm. Especially, now that tomatoes are in season I used a bunch of fresh tomatoes.   You are going to love it!


I paired this with some delicious middle eastern spiced rice. You see this on the streetcarts of NYC and in any shawarma place. Warm Basmati rice cooked to perfection with a blend of freshly ground cinnamon, cloves, peppercorn, allspice and paprika. I topped it off with a few slivered almonds.

*On the side was a yummy and simple salad of Persian cucumbers, tomatoes, mint and feta. Drizzled with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. (This was the only non-vegan portion of this recipe.


For the Rice:

You Will Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed a few times under running water
  • 1 tbsp whole allspice
  • 1 tsp whole cloves (4-5 cloves)
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Mint, cilantro or slivered almonds for garnish

1) Grind whole spices finely in the above proportions


2) Heat  olive oil in a skillet and add  spices, saute for less than a minute

3) Add 1/1/2 cups basmati rice (rinsed first) and fold in the spices


4) Allow the spices and rice to fully blend together (2-3 minutes)

5) transfer to a rice cooker or pot, and add less than 3 cups of water and 1 tsp salt, cook covered on medium for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked.

The result is spiced, savory perfection! Garnish with some mint and slivered almonds if you like!


For the  Mousaka


You will need:

  • 2 eggplants
  • About 5-6 Roma tomatoes , chopped(or 3 larger tomatoes)
  • 1/2 Red onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Cayenne pepper or any chili powder on hand
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Paprika
  • Cumin powder
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Can of chickpeas, drained ( I used only half in this recipe)

Before you begin:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°  and trim the ends of the eggplants, and peel in strips (like below image)
  • Then, cut the eggplant into about 1 inch rounds, and lay them on a baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and salt them. Make sure both sides get some olive oil.


To Prepare:

1. Bake  eggplant rounds for 20 minutes, turning half-way. Remove when eggplants are soft, but not squishy. Cut into cubes and set aside.

4. In a skillet, heat olive oil and saute half a large red onion and 3 cloves of garlic, minced

5. Add in the chopped tomatoes and 1 tbsp of tomato paste

6. Saute for a few minutes, and add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp cayenne powder (more if you like it spicy). Add 1 tsp salt and let the tomatoes reduce into a nice sauce, adding water as necessary.  This should take about 10 minutes.

7. Reduce flame to medium and add chick peas. I am not a huge fan of chickpeas so I just added half the can.  Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add a pinch of sugar if you feel it is too acidic. This cuts the acid.

8. Add in the eggplant and mix well.

9. Finish it off with some fresh chopped mint and cilantro. Remove from flame and serve with the spiced rice and salad!




Lobia (Black Eyed Peas) Masala

I always say this, beans truly are a vegetarian’s best friend! Packed with fiber, protein, and a ton of other nutrients, beans are always my go-to. What I love about bean dishes is that they really help me out on busy days because I can make a batch and it stores really well in the refrigerator or freezer. Lobia masala is a traditional northern indian dish made with black-eyed peas. I love that each bean dish has it’s own flavor and texture. Black eyed peas tend to thicken quicker than other beans and has a softer texture. This recipe uses tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and indian spices such as cumin, coriander and cinnamon. The best part is that it’s a one pot dish. Hope you enjoy!


You will need:

  • A pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, the beans will take a really long time to cook. (Canned beans are an acceptable alternative in this instance, but lacks the flavor of dried beans.)
  • 1 cup dried black eyed peas
  • 2 large  tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste, or 1/2 inch numb ginger, grated, and 1-2 garlic cloves, grated
  • cumin powder
  • coriander powder
  • red chili powder (or cayenne)
  • turmeric
  • 1/2 a cinnamon stick
  • Optional  pinch of garam masala
  • Cilantro and fresh red pepper (capcicum) to garnish



To Prepare:

  1. Rinse and soak black-eyed peas for at least 4 hours, overnight preferred
  2. In the pressure cooker itself, heat  2 tbsp of oil.
  3. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds and wait until they sputter.
  4. Add onions, stir
  5. Then add ginger-garlic paste and sauté til translucent.
  6. Add spices: 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp red chili powder (or more if desired), 1/2 tsp turmeric , and 1/2 cinnamon stick.
  7. Then add tomatoes, sauté until the tomatoes reduce a bit.
  8. Add the black eyed peas, add water and 1-2 tsp of salt
  9. Fill enough water to cover beans by 1 inch, but not too much or the pressure cooker will spew out spicy water.
  10. Close the pressure cooker and set to high. When you hear the first whistle, reduce to Medium.
  11. Allow to cook for 10 more minutes.
  12. Run pressure cooker under water or allow to cool completely before you open. Stir and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes to thicken.
  13. At this stage you can add a pinch of garam masala and garnish with cilantro if desired. I also garnished with red pepper for a fresh bite.
  14. Serve with chapatis or rice!


This will serve a family of 4 and yield plenty for leftovers.

Prep time: 15 minutes (excluding soaking)

Cook time: 30 minutes

Bon Appétit!

Be my Valentine Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

Happy Valentine’s day everyone! Today I’m going to a small get together with my coworkers so I thought I’d bring along a little something yummy. This sundried tomato hummus takes no time at all and is sure to wow. Tastes great in salads, and sandwiches too.  Here’s the step-by-step:

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Morning Detox Smoothie- Romaine, Lemon, Ginger, Coconut Water


Hi All! So many of my friends have asked me to post more smoothie recipes. Smoothies are a great morning breakfast meal replacement because they are quick, easy and pack a bunch of nutrients to fuel your day. I’ve been hearing buzz about a romaine lettuce smoothie, that uses any combination of lettuce, parsley, apple, pear, coconut water and lemon juice. Enjoy this pre-workout, post-workout or as a meal replacement!

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Spicy Black Bean Hummus


Planning to entertain? Here’s a really quick and easy recipe for black bean hummus. I also use it in sandwiches and atop toast! It is high in fiber and protein and really smooth and delicious 🙂 I really like making my own hummus because I can control what goes in it. You can also switch up the flavors and blend it to the kind of texture you like.

You Will Need

  • 1 1/2 cup of cooked black beans (using the liquid it was cooked in)  or 1 can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno
  • cumin powder
  • Garlic
  • cilantro
  • A squirt of lime
  • olive oil
  • optional tahini paste

To Prepare

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine  beans, half a jalapeño, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp cumin powder and break off a few leaves of cilantro. Use the juice of 1 lime wedge, just for flavor.
  2. Be careful with salt if the beans were salted when cooking. Season with salt.
  3. Add a little  water, or the liquid the beans were cooked in. Drizzle in a bit of olive oil.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. If you would like a creamy consistency, add a tablespoon of tahini and blend. If you would like it more sharp, add garlic.
  6. Serve!

Southern Style Green Tomato Dal


I’ve had Green tomatoes before in the form of “fried green tomatoes” southern style. But I wanted to see if there was another way I could use them, since I’m not so big into southern cooking. When I think of comfort food, I think of a different kind of southern cooking–dal and rice! There’s a dish my mom makes all the time, Nimbu Rassam, which is basically a dal (yellow moong), but with South Indian spices and lemon juice.  Green tomatoes hold their shape much better than regular tomatoes, which go to mush when cooked. This dish uses tomato to give the dal the sour flavor instead of lemon, and it’s nice because you have small chunks of tomato to chew on here and there 🙂 I enjoyed it with a vegetable curry and rice!

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